Warning: avoid reading if you don’t want to come across spoilers on the fifth episode of The Idol
After all the controversy prior to the release of The Idoland after those relating to the alleged cut of bets, frankly, we all expected very little from the season finale. The latest episode of The Idol, controversial creature of Sam Levinson, was undoubtedly frenetic, unlike anything seen before. In short, in essence, the first season (provided that there are actually others planned), closes as far away as possible from how it began: if for four episodes the static nature of the plot had left many perplexities, in the last bet the pace increases dramatically and, in a short time, we are witnessing a real and totally unexpected turnaround. It is true that “better late than never” is often a good saying, but in this case it was all too exaggerated; The Idol remove the curtains with an absurd ending and, after four episodes between highs (very few) and lows (very many), it seems to challenge the public even more, perhaps to give yourself a second chance, to be looked at in the hope of finding meaning in this whole process. A sense that, at least we, we can’t really grasp, because sometimes exaggerating is not good at all, especially if you end up retracting at the end. Our review.
The pupil surpasses the teacher
The latest episode of The Idolas well as confusing us even more as to what the creative team’s goals were from the beginning, reveals the true essence of Jocelyn, who until now she had looked more like a lost sheep than the lioness she proved to be. Let’s assume that, among all the episodes of The Idol, in terms of entertainment, the last one is perhaps the only really enjoyable one, due to a frenetic pace and a (finally) well-articulated narration. But, of course, none of that is enough. First of all, with a last episode like this, after four episodes in which everything is only hinted, a huge difference in height is created which is not good for the series; this is because, in fact, in The Idol there was none turning point: no moment in the HBO series has ever pointed us to one point rather than another, no character, other than Jocelyn, has ever marked by importance and effectiveness until the last episode. Then, all of a sudden, everyone begins to really act and put on a show that, until then, we hadn’t seen yet. Secondly, and here we have to be really strict, there are too many questions, too many potential holes: Rob’s role, first of all, doesn’t make any sense. This phantom ex-boyfriend enters the scene completely out of nowhere to have his career ruined by Tedros without leaving anything precious, neither to the public nor to the protagonist, giving only a lot of embarrassment in trying to understand what is the reason for its presence. Secondly, Tedros himself, who suddenly goes from being Jocelyn’s master and tormentor to being her slave, literally; and all this would have gone well, were it not for the fact that Jocelyn invites him on stage and presents him to her fans as the love of her life: does anyone want to give us an explanation?
And to think that Jocelyn, until the last seconds of The Idol, had been the only really good thing about the series. Here, let’s say that, paradoxically, the last episode of The Idol it gives us back a more mature and adult version of Jocelyn, but at the same time totally out of line with respect to the path followed up to that moment, while the same thing happens to Tedros, who comes out resized but definitely better than how he started. So, if on the one hand it is positive that Jocelyn has come out (or at least it seems) from the turbulent and unhealthy relationship with Tedros, on the other hand everything that happens in the last episode creates such a confusion as to question even the path taken by the protagonist herself, who literally wears a mask for an entire episode in the season finale, convinces his team of what he wants and then takes matters into his own hands, fooling everyone. All this, one might think, served to make Jocelyn “come to her senses”, awakening her from the profound boredom in which she poured and giving her a useful jolt to get her career back in hand, but was all this really necessary? The exhibitionism of violence, the explicitness of sexuality, are all aspects that, after having characterized Sam Levinson’s creature in all respects, remain without a real purpose, resulting almost random, as well as sonorously unwelcome by most of the public.
Little Red Riding Hood and the “bad” wolf
The final response on Tedros is definitely negative. First of all, The Weeknd proved to be no match for the role, probably loaded with too many expectations as well as inadequate responsibilities; secondly, building a character in such an ambiguous way, and then completely dismantling it in a single episode, is a truly unexpected and risky choice, because beyond the fact that almost nobody liked the character of Tedros, it is still the co-star of the series, and see it completely losing his status like this doesn’t make any sense. The positive surprise of this last episode were the members of Jocelyn’s staff, in particular Chaim, who faces the character played by The Weeknd in a memorable face-to-face in which all the certainties of the villain par excellence are demolished, effectively making him the first victim of the American music industry system. It would have been a good choice to tell more about the behind-the-scenes aspects of a star, more actively and constantly involve characters like Chaim, Nikki and Destiny, as well as Andrew, played by an excellent Eli Roth. Another discordant note concerns Jocelyn’s “second family”, i.e. the Tedros sect: everyone, from Izaak to Chloe, passing through the latest member to arrive, Xander, repudiates the position of leader to go over to Jocelyn’s side, not so much for a selfish or economic choice, how much more to become a real artistic extension of the protagonist, who appropriates Tedros’ work to complete her show. In short, The Idol it turns out to be a huge paraphrase on the dynamics and power games behind the American musical star system, and so far that’s fine, but then what was the real need to talk about delicate topics such as physical violence and psychology if then, right at the end, you decide to open a huge question mark on the truthfulness of the relationship between Jocelyn and her mother? There are way too many hitches in The Idol, which were already many before the last episode, but which now also have to count on one of the most unexpected and spoiled season finales of recent years. Postponed to September? For heaven’s sake, no, this is a real rejection: a result bordering on the unthinkable.